Black carbon

Distinguishing Black Carbon from Biogenic Humic Substances in Soil Clay Fractions
Laird, David, Chappell, Mark, Martens, Dean, Wershaw, Robert, Thompson, Michael
Geoderma, October 3, 2007
Interpretive Summary:

Long-Term Black Carbon (Bio-Char) Dynamics in Cultivated Soil
Binh Thanh Nguyen, Johannes Lehmann, and James Kinyangi. Cornell Univ, 1022 Bradfield Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853
18th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) July 9-15, 2006 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Black C Effects on the Biogeochemical Cycling of Soil Nutrients and Organic C in Amazonian Dark Earths (Terra Preta De Indo)
Biqing Liang, Graduate Student, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, 9/21/2006,Crop and Soil Sciences Seminar Series, Cornell University. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.



Black Carbon from Rice Residues as Soil Amendment and for Carbon Sequestration
Stephan M. Haefele 1, J.K. Ladha 1, and Yothin Konboon 2.
(1) International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, 4031 Laguna, Philippines, (2) Ubon Rice Research Center, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
18th World Congress of Soil Science, July 9-15, 2006 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Exploring Atypical Stabilization Pathways Using Pool-Based Modeling
Sohi, Saran, Yates, Helen, Lehmann, Johannes Liang, Biqing, Gaunt, John
Cornell University WCSS Poster 2006

Simulation models that explicitly account for the impact and interaction of soil and environmental variables can assist in predicting the accumulation of C and its rate of turnover. Relevant, verifiable (i.e. measurable) pools of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) provide the most robust basis for elucidating the underlying mechanisms. We have developed a model based around three measurable pools of SOM which can be measured using a density-based fractionation procedure, and verified by extensive chemical characterization. The model has been optimized against measurements of C and N and isotope-tracers in several soils amended with isotope-labeled organic matter. According to recent estimates black C is a much larger component of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) in typical agricultural soils than previously assumed. Since black C may also be the most stable form of organic C in the soil, the amount of black C in the soil must impact both on the bulk rate of soil C mineralization (turnover) and the extent to which a particular management intervention can alter SOC. Until now our simulations have not accounted explicitly for the effect of black C on the dynamics of each pool. We are now examining how black C is characterized by physical location within the soil matrix, and in order to account for the influence of black C using this model affects C mineralization, and the distribution of charcoal between each of the measured fractions.


Isolating Unique Bacteria from Terra Preta Systems: Using Culturing and Molecular Tools for Characterizing Microbial Life in Terra Preta
O'Neill, Brendan Grossman, Julie Tsai, S.M. Gomes, Jose Elias Garcia, Carlos Eduardo Solomon, Dawit Liang, Biqing Lehmann, Johannes Thies, Janice
Poster presentation from the 2006 World Congress of Soil Science in Philadelphia, PA

The greater fertility of Terra Preta (TP) soils is thought to be due to their high black carbon (BC) content, which contributes to increased nutrient and moisture retention, and increased pH.


Black Carbon from Rice Residues as Soil Amendment and for Carbon Sequestration
Haefele, SM, Konboon, Y, Knoblauch, C, Koyama, S, Gummert, M, Ladha, JK
Cornell University Poster Presented to International Rice Research Institute, September 14 2006

On highly weathered soils in tropical and subtropical climates, maintenance of soil organic matter is essential to sustain system productivity and avoid rapid soil degradation. But climatic conditions as well as soil characteristics favor the rapid decomposition of organic matter. However, several recent studies indicated that black carbon, the product of incomplete combustion of organic material, could combine characteristics highly beneficial for soil nutrient dynamics with high stability against chemical and microbial breakdown.

Tracing black carbon in soil using SEM/EDX, biomarker analyses, and compound-specific radiocarbon analyses
S. Brodowski (1), P. M. Grootes (2), W. Zech (3), W. Amelung (1)

Mollisols are known to contain stable, black humus components which originate from
charred or coal-derived particles. As such black carbon (BC) significantly affects soil
fertility and interferes with models on soil organic matter dynamics, an accurate prediction of BC input into soils and an elucidation of the mechanisms of BC turnover
is essential. The main aims of this study were (i) to identify the sources of BC in the


Black carbon in soils: The use of benzene polycarboxylic acids as specific indicators

Bruno Glaser, Ludwig Haumaier, Georg Guggenberger and Wolfgang Zech

Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Germany. Fax: ++49-921-552246. Email:

Mitteilungen der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft (1997) 85: 237 - 240

1. Introduction

Black carbon (BC) is formed during incomplete combustion of biomass. Being highly resistant to microbial and chemical oxidation, it is considered to be a significant sink in the global carbon cycle. Most likely, it is also a source of stable aromatic carbon in soils.


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